Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Get In Formation

This is a re-post from the Cafe, with a few additional thoughts to share with my fellow HBCU alumni so that we can all get this point without any lingering animosity or hurt feelings for future reference: WE ARE NOT IN COMPETITION WITH EACH OTHER FOR DONORS.


That isn't our cross to bear. So please, before you waste time whining blogging about a high-profile donation to the so-called elite HBCUs, take a step back and do a little research. Recognize that every single one of these institutions needs support, and if every single alumni gave something, anything to his/her own HBCU, it wouldn't matter what the celebrities do.

Because what celebrities do with their money is their damn business. Some of these folk will give that big one-time donation and never give another dime. Or they might give consistently for the rest of their natural lives. Or whatever, but again, it is their money and not ours. Our money is what we earn and how we choose to designate it, so that matters more to our institutions--whether alumni bother to donate.

So again, I repeat (just in case you forgot): WE ARE NOT IN COMPETITION WITH EACH OTHER FOR DONORS.

And because I really, really care that you get this, I gave to Talladega College, as I said I would when I wrote this. Because I never want another HBCU to go hat in hand to participate in something that they would rather not, but feel compelled to do so because they need the money.

And that is the same reason why I gave to Bethune-Cookman University, because for the life of me, I cannot even form the words to express why the invitation to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to be their commencement speaker is just...like seriously, were Omarosa or Ben Carson that busy? (And I'm not signing any petition because I made my feelings clear when making my contribution. Money talks, my friends.)

And to briefly address this gift from Beyonce to Spelman College and Howard University, please save your ire for real nonsense, like the aforementioned invitation to Betsy DeVos from Bethune-Cookman or the participation of Talladega's band at the Abomination in January. Hell, let's debate whether it is too soon for Barack Obama to collect $400,000 for speaking engagements. But let's not spend another minute complaining about how Beyonce should have spent her money; otherwise, we will ensure that the next big gift won't go to any of our schools. No one wants to court controversy for making a GIFT. So just stop.

And in response to the article that raised, but then never really addressed the issue of elitism in higher education--yes, there is elitism among HBCUs, Catholic schools, state universities, private colleges, Ivy institutions, and even online programs. Elitism exists, period. But we don't need to fall for the trap of hurt feelings and resentment by complaining. Instead, perfect the Oscar response: politely applaud, and then find a way to distinguish your institution so that it's accomplishments, talent, and preeminence will not continue to be overlooked.

Because, and I am only going to say this one last time: WE ARE NOT IN COMPETITION WITH EACH OTHER FOR DONORS.

No comments:

Post a Comment